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What a deluded, misguided club we have become


THIS was our chance.

The only trophy we had a realistic chance of winning. And what did we do? We turned our nose up in contempt at it. What a deluded, misguided club we have become. Who the hell do we think we are to think the FA Cup is beneath us, to put out a shadow team and to put in a shadow performance?

I honestly think that as a football club we’ve completely lost our way. What I think has happened is this: we’ve allowed ourselves to think that financial success and football success are the same thing. So we’ve allowed ourselves to think that because the financial implications of Champions League qualification and progression dwarf the financial offerings of an FA Cup win, that should dictate 100% our footballistic priorities.

This is a fatal mistake. You can’t rewrite the carnal desires of a football fan or player. Yes, we relish evenings such as Munich on Tuesday but achieving fourth place will never ever bring people out onto the streets of Islington in the same way winning an actual trophy always does. What is so galling is not that we’re not winning them, but the fact that we appear not to consider winning them important. That I find hard to accept.

And what an opportunity this was. You know had we won the FA Cup I honestly think it alone would have bought the current regime two, maybe even three years breathing space. Why? Because actually I think that with the exception of a few professional Wenger haters, the rest of the Arsenal fanbase would like nothing more than to see us succeed again with him at the helm, to the extent that if anything we’d allow ourselves to be swept away by just a solitary domestic cup.

The irony of our team selection was that seemingly the only thing that stopped him resting the whole team was his own failures in the transfer market. So Giroud played because we literally have no other strikers, Vermaelen because we have only three usable central defenders and Szczesny because we don’t have a proper second choice keeper. Monreal played because the other left-back is injured and only in the case of Arteta (who could have been replaced by Ramsey) could you say there was an alternative.

Yes, we were unlucky in some senses but you sometimes are in football and you should be doing everything you can to mitigate that misfortune. We didn’t – neither in our team selection nor in our approach to the game.

I honestly can’t remember leaving an Arsenal game angrier than I was yesterday.

25 Responses to “What a deluded, misguided club we have become”

  1. Pat says:


  2. Dirk says:


    There were 11 internationals on the park and we had a fist full of chances to bury Blackburn!! Yes this is football and SOMETIMES you loose!!

    Accept it and move on!!

    You can not “mitigate” loss :)

    I know it is hard to accept it, but we lost (probably unfairly) but that is tough!!

  3. Bond says:

    i don’t blame Wenger entirely, however it is well obvious to a fair few fans like myself not just since yesterday but since a good fair few years, 3 shall we say it ? yep, lack of a quality goal keeper.

    Szcny (don’t mind the spellings) but i honestly feel he is one of the worst goal keepers in Europe…he cost us the final vs Birmingham in a cup final not so long ago….he keeps costing us games week in week out…having 1 decent game every 6 months doesn’t make one a decent keeper.

    Arsene Faith in him is Appalling, the guy is no longer a first choice goal keeper for Poland anymore says it all really.

    i would be very surprised if we don’t get a decent keeper come this summer and still have this useless , over rated and arrogant pair of hands and legs standing in goal next season. (let us hope and pray)

  4. slc gunner says:

    I really wasn’t that opposed to the lineup. We had 5 of the 1st available 11 and the rest are all internationals with the exception of Coquelin (ok Arteta too, but he’s Spanish). Our bench was also strong. That team should win against a championship team.
    We didn’t do enough going forward. If you’re going to send in 100 crosses in a game, get a 2nd big man in there (oh right, we don’t have a backup for Giroud). Crossing was appalling. Chamberlain needs to practise crossing for a week before he gets another game. As for Gervinho, that was his chance, and it’s gone. While he is ok (and only ok) in build up play, he is the worst finisher that I’ve seen at the club for many years.

  5. i been saying this for good while szszney is no good. he is too cocky for goal keeper plus when you have no competition for your place you become very complacent cause they no one to put pressure on you. alsenal football club have too much dead weight in their ranks who need serious clear out starting with wenger.

  6. Dave says:

    I think the worst thing about walking away from the stadium on Saturday was that i felt almost no shock or surprise at the result at all. Not even a year into owning a season ticket and i can’t see myself renewing.

  7. WENGER: Old French lover. All kissing and no penetration says:

    The obvious solution to teams that park the bus is to play 3 up front.
    Wenger sticks to his system fine but these players cannot pay the system. So you need to change it. When you have the ineffectual Giroud outnumbered by 5 blue shirts across the back and crosses come in and no red shirt is there and players cannot play triangles on the edge of the box with players running behind into space in the box then you need to play 3 up front. In this way you get players in there who would never be and this creates havoc for the five across the back either through movement, a dribble and short pass, a deflection or a melee, at least then you have three in teh five yeard box to latch onto things. At the moment the team is mesmerised by two banks of defenders without the skill to get through. The second bank of defenders usually has four players with the 10th player playing up front. If 7 Arsenal players cannot hold 1, 2, or 5 rushing players on a counter attack then they may as well be playing in the Championship and not in the Premier League. It is frightening to think that Sagna has been out best Central Defender in the last 8 years simply on his display in the middle last week! Wenger has put three up front before so why does he wait until the 100th minute to make changes?
    PS I would love to know if Arsenal players read these blogs???

  8. The Saint says:

    Fans have to realise that the club is no longer ours and hasn’t been for some time now since it has been bought by an American businessman. Back in the days when a few shareholders owned it it was open to differences of opinion and so long as at least a couple of them were true fans we could count on spirited debate at board level to ensure the fans’ interests were heard; I think that ended when David Dein left and essentially one clueless non-fan American bought it.

    Now the club belongs to him and for him the only trophy is a profit. And so while us fans want titles and proper trophies the only trophy that counts for the new owner of the club is Fourth Place and Champions’ League money. Everything else like the F.A. Cup the 1979 win was what made me want to be a Gooner all those years ago, the Carling Cup mean very little to the new owner.

    Let’s face it; us long time fans have lost our club for some time now and the only trophies that we can hope for now are the ones that maximize profit for the new owner i.e. Champions’ League football.

    As non-owner fans we can either put up or shut up. We have to learn to accept Fourth Place as our main trophy from now on and from that point of view we still have a lot to play for to ensure the new owner gets his trophy. Bully for him! How very very sad….

  9. West Upper says:

    None of the fans around me were suprised when Blackburn scored – or that we lost. Expectations are now rock bottom and results like these are losing their sting.

    There was a huge number of empty seats and presumably this – if nothing else might start to prompt some desperately needed changes in the management.

    The guy next to me has been a season ticket holder for 23 years and is trying to get someone to take over his ticket for a couple of seasons but I don’t think he will get any takers.

    Given the astronomical price of season tickets and the tripe being served up I think a lot of people won’t renew.

    On a more positive note I’m looking forward to the Bayern game tomorrow night – basically becuaee it will be a treat to see an absolutely top notch side in the flesh – this will probably be the last opportunity for a while.

  10. Wallace says:

    I’m expecting a much better performance tomorrow night. If we’re not at our best though – and even that probably won’t be good enough – i genuinely fear for us.

  11. RealisticGunner says:

    As Realistic fans such as PD and Gooner Steve have said

    “its a vicious circle” – IF wenger were to win the Champions league or had went on to win the FA cup – mark my words that would have allowed him to gloat…make the players feel like they can take it easy again and then probably invite another 8 years of half hearted perfomrances and even more expsensive ticket pricing!

    the day wenger’s gone the better we will be!!!

  12. melcfromfinsburypark says:

    I missed the game because of a longstanding commitment but it sounds as if it was similar to many previous games where the team just turned up thinking they would win. It seems that when this happens the tempo required to create chances against massed defences is always missing hence why we seem to have failed to beat so many poor teams in recent seasons. The big question for me is why does it carry on happening? Why are (some of) the players too stupid to realise that not respecting the virtues of hard working oppostion is a recipe for disaster? Solve this problem and we would dramtically increase our chances of winning many more games and probably a domestic cup here and there because, regardless of how unbalanced the squad is, there are enough good players (Wilshere, Arteta, Cazorla, Sagna) to be able to win games. Worryingly, Arsene must be aware of this HUGE issue but he appears completely incapable of correcting it.

  13. PD says:

    I didn’t think I could get any more depressed about Saturday’s ‘performance’ but congratulation Dirk, your comments above have achieved it. Thoroughly depressing nonsense.

  14. Rob says:

    What? Dirk is one of the few realists. We are competing with three clubs who could practically outbid and do, just about any club in the world.

    We spend far less, buy a new ground and yet still perform year in year out. So we don’t win the premier any of you think another manager could do it without spending bucket loads? Not IMO. Would I trade the fa cup for what Arsenal stand for and the way we play…not a chance!

    If Wenger does spend in the summer he is, as far as I am concerned, still the man for the job. If he has real money at his disposal and buys 4 or so top quality first team players we will be right up there.

    The armchair fans and amateur managers are a pain in the arse.

    Get real people. You don’t know what you have till you lose it…and with the **** you talk you’ll drive wenger out and destroy the morale of the players and the club in the process. Let’s go spend 200m and have a year or fantasy football before we see Arsenal collapse, manager after manger come and go and true mediocrity take hold. We are in the top 10 of Europe’s elite clubs…winning a trophy will come as the debts reduce and ffp kicks in.

  15. PD says:

    blah blah blah…..every classic AKB cliche in the book.

    If you’re actually willing to debate with real valid points, then let’s go. However, if you’re just interested in reproducing the unmitigated bollocks trotted out every week on Untold Arsenal, then I simply can’t be arsed.

  16. Elvis says:

    A half-hearted, languid, complacent apology of a performance – not for the first time this season.

    To lose 1-0 in the FA Cup is no disgrace.

    To lose 1-0 at home in the FA Cup is unfortunate.

    To lose 1-0 at home in the FA Cup to a totally limited team from a division lower is a bad result.

    To lose 1-0 at home in the FA Cup to a totally limited team from a division lower with barely a shot on target (and millions in the bank) is an abomination.

  17. Rixwoodcock says:

    I felt the same, i was at york, wrexham and never felt as angry as i did on saturday coupled with despair that i predicted the scenario of the game in the pub beforehand…..plodding passionless performance coupled with a blackburn goal from an error. AFC stand for arsenal football club not financial club. The reason for its being has been lost

  18. sube says:

    I have always believed that until and unless our team can learn how to defend and keep clean sheets, we will never win any trophy. For me, the season was over long ago, in September-October, when I realized our team did not know what defending was! In fact, I stopped watching any of Arsenal’s match after October and have started watching Bundesliga and La Liga! So, I was a little less disappointed than most of the Arsenal fans :)

  19. Rob says:

    PD you don’t have a clue. Tell me who are our like for like competitors are? Spurs? Liverpool? Everton? None touches Arsenals success on or off the field, or consistency of performance over the past decade. You just want something you don’t have and lack the understanding as to why it is difficult to achieve.

  20. PD says:

    Really ? Wow. Thanks for your guidance. I thought it was easy to win everything. We should just spend 300m & win every trophy – is that not how it works ?

    You tell me I don’t have a clue but yet you seem to think how positive people are on a blog is the ultimate test of being a good supporter. Kinda sad really.

  21. PD says:

    Come on u Reds. Show some fucking pride & give us something to look forward to for the next few weeks !

  22. RealisticGunner says:

    I think wenger will give up..poor guy

  23. PD says:

    Bigger.Faster.Stronger.Better technically.Better tactically.More organised.Harder working. 3-1 totally flattered us. It would not surprise me if the 4-0 record defeat at Milan was surpassed in 3 weeks.

    I was utterly bemused that we started the season with Arteta playing where he is. As the season has progressed its looked more & more a daft decision & I simply cannot comprehend how people don’t see it as a problem. If anyone watched that game & still thinks Arteta can do the job these team needs in that position………then words simply fail me. First things first this summer : a big monster in that position to give us some balance. That doesn’t happen – we don’t improve. It’s that simple. It wasn’t the only problem tonight obviously but it was (as it has been countless times this season) but it’s the first fundamental one.

    Before anyone starts I’m not having a go at Arteta. I think he’s a good lad, a good player – though not quite at the top level – but he’s being asked to do a job that he’s wholly unsuited to. It’s just shockingly negligent management. Shocking.

  24. MDP says:

    I agree with you on this one.
    I would always choose to have a 6 foot plus, tank, sitting in front of the back four, breaking up play, powering forward and simply giving it back to the likes of Cazorla or Wilshere to do the creative stuff.

    I think it should be remembered that the defensive side of the game can be as equally beautiful as attack when done correctly. The wonders of Vieira running the midfield and Adams keeping a frustrated striker in his pocket come to mind as I write this.

    For all the talk of “Arsenal’s Philosophy” lately. I would wager that 99.9% of Arsenal Fans would see the early Arsene sides as the perfect blueprint for success. Forget all the Spanish style, short arsed, tippy tappy stuff. That Barcelona side is a phenomenon that’s incredibly difficult to repeat. I would ask Arsene to emulate his own style and look to the invincibles for inspiration. Please.

    It’s still my preference for Arsene to do this. Whatever happens this season I still expect him to be at the helm come next season regardless of what anyone thinks. We are and have been in a state of rebuild for some time now. I still maintain the core of this squad is good, it just needs some seriously good signings to take it to the next level. And yes PD a defensive midfielder should be the first on the shopping list, then a striker and then a centre half.

    Good night.

  25. PD says:

    MDP, I truly admire your optimism but look at the facts. Since Paddy left, we have got between 67 & 75 points each season & finished at least 10 points off the champions. (and we won’t even reach 67 this season so will be officially the worst tean of the Wenger era)
    Except in 07-08 when we got 83 points & finished only 4 points off. That is also the only season where we have a genuine hard luck story. (The Eduardo incident & the rubbish refereeing that day which led to 2 pts being dropped in addition to losing a good player) It’s also the only season outside of the run to Paris we beat a really good side in Europe in Milan. (a much better Milan team by the way than the one that beat us last season) You could also argue it’s the only season where we had a genuine hard luck story in Europe too. (two rubbish penalty decisions v Liverpool)
    So why were we so much better then ? In a word – Flamini. He’s the only ‘bully’ we’ve had play regularly since Paddy left.
    He left 5 years (that’s 10 transfer windows !!) ago & Arsene has not signed a player of that type since. So the question is what on earth makes you think he will do it now ? We’re getting worse with every season & it’s a massive leap of faith – with no basis of fact to back it up – to think he can turn it around. If you’re looking at it logically, another season means we’ll be even worse this time next year.
    I do think you’re right on one thing though : he will definitely be there next season….but only because of his pride & the Board’s cowardice/conservatism. When you see the position Bayern are in & think their Board still had the balls to go & get Guardiola & push their manager into retirement against his wishes ? That’s a bravery we can only dream of from our Board.

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